LANCASTER, Pa. – A late push from No. 3 Franklin & Marshall's offense nearly led to a late equalizer, but ultimately the feverish effort came up short in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss against No. 15 Johns Hopkins on Saturday in Centennial Conference (CC) men's soccer competition.
The Diplomats (12-2, 5-1 CC) fell to their first regular-season Conference opponent at home since 2015 – breaking a streak of 17 unbeaten games on Tylus. Johns Hopkins moved to 10-2-1, 4-1-1 CC with the win.
In the early minutes of the opening half, F&M's offense put pressure on the Hopkins' backline leading to several corner opportunities that were unable to result in any scoring. Both teams traded off time in their attacking third with near misses on crosses but zero shots from each side through the opening 25 minutes.
Johns Hopkins generated the game's first chance in the 28th minute with a strong shot from 20 yards out that sailed high of the crossbar.
With five minutes remaining in the first, the Diplomats nearly got on the board after forcing a turnover in the Johns Hopkins' defensive third. Alex Martinez rolled a well-placed cross to the center of the 18-yard box that was collected by Kane Feudtner. However, the sophomore forward's low attempt on net was collected by the Blue Jays' goalkeeper.
Only 35 seconds were left in the opening stanza when Johns Hopkins struck with the game's first goal. A short cross from the right side of the field found the foot of Pablo Martinez, whose strike from 20 yards out found a home in the upper-right corner of the net for a 1-0 edge.
The second half started with F&M dictating possession in the early stages with a plethora of looks on net. In the 49th minute, A Robert Maze close-range shot nearly hit pay dirt, but the Blue Jays' goalkeeper sprawled out for a diving stop to his left that kept F&M scoreless.
Back-to-back golden opportunities from Alex Lalovic midway through the second half included a near-highlight reel backward flick from Maze that Lalovic hit inches high of the crossbar.
With 10 minutes left, a Hopkins' foul just a yard outside of the box led to a Carl Friedrich freekick that was thwarted with a block from the Blue Jay defense. The flurry of Diplomat chances continued two minutes later with a long Friedrich throw-in toward the box that was headed by several F&M players and eventually sent in on net by Maze but once again turned back by the goalkeeper.
The Diplomats were dominant in the second half, leading in shots by a 13-4 margin and corners at 4-2. For the game, F&M held a 15-10 advantage in shots and an 8-4 edge in corners. Maze led the effort with four shots, while three Diplomats followed with two each.
Christopher Amoruso (12-2) suffered the loss in net after a two-save effort while the Blue Jays' Xander Lefevre was lights out with six stops.
Centennial play continues next Saturday on the road when F&M faces Washington at 4:00 p.m.